Sometimes it’s not about doing the right thing, or the smart thing, or the proper thing. Sometimes it’s not about making the best choice or taking the safest route. Sometimes it’s just about making the memory. It’s about recognizing that that things might not go well and you might make a fool of yourself, but that’s okay. It’s about putting yourself out there, taking a chance, trying something new, because you can’t make memories by doing the same thing over and over. Nobody ever did anything commendable from the solitude of their own dormitory. Sometimes the dumbest decisions you make are the best ones.
I’m about making memories and taking life by the coattails. I refuse to remain stagnant and let moments pass me up because I never took the chance. I refuse to have my life story riddled with “almosts” in place of “definites.” When my life nears it’s end, I want to be able to say that I walked the courageous path, danced with the insane, and conquered the impossible. I want my headstone to bear the words, “She lived, utterly and implicitly.” For what value is there in a life not lived?
Setting the scene:
You’re sitting alone in the empty cafeteria, it’s one of those odd hours of the day, too early for dinner, too late for lunch. You have with you a small salad and an even smaller book, just biding your time before your laundry needs switching over. Engrossed in your book, you don’t notice the highly attractive guy entering the all but empty cafeteria, but he immediately notices you. He grabs his food tray and says loudly “hmm i wonder where i should sit?” Startled, you look up from your book and salad and giggle softly because you know that there’s no one else in the room, he’s obviously trying to grab your attention, but you’re still too shy to be like “sit by me!” Encouraged by the laugh, he begins to stride towards you and in your mind you’re frantically going through your checklist: how’s my hair, is there salad in my teeth, please dont fart…. he finally makes it to the table and politely taps you on the shoulder, “excuse me ma’am, i don’t mean to bother you but it seems like the cafe is kind of full today, would you mind terribly if i sit here?” Once again you giggle, but this time you add “not at all, sir” and he plays along saying quite regally, “ah, thank you.” Then he makes a big show of setting his tray down, unfolding his napkin and tucking it into his shirt. Picking up his fork and knife, he cuts a huge chunk of meat out of his steak, shoves it in his mouth, and then finally turns to you with a Flynn Ryder-esk charm, and says “Hey. Hows it going?”
Occasionally, when I take a nap I will experience sleep paralysis. I’m told it happens when your body falls to sleep faster than your mind does and as a result your body goes into the paralyzed state of deep sleep while your mind stays active. While that doesn’t sound too bad, the experience can be very unsettling. This is how I feel during it…
Often times I feel like I am awake with my eyes closed shut, only slightly being able to see and sense what’s going on in the world around me. Often times i can sense people being in the room with me, but in reality this is the dream part because no one is actually there. Anyways, due to the paralysis, my breathing is very low so my mind feels like I’m suffocating, like I can’t get any oxygen into my lungs. My mind starts panicking, thinking I’ll surely die if I can’t get more oxygen, so i begin attempting to jolt myself awake; but how can you wake yourself if you can’t move any part of your body? Basically, in my mind, I’m lying there, slowing suffocating, my whole body rigid in an attempt to generate even the slightest movement that might wake myself from this awful state.
It sounds terrible, right? Well that isn’t even the most unsettling part. Today the paralysis was combined with a worrisome dream:
As my body grew rigid, I recognized myself lying in my bed at my parent’s home. I heard my sister outside my room, calling my name, and I attempted to call back to her but my words only came out a muffled whimper. Then she entered my room and said gleefully, “what are you doing?” as she noticed me asleep in my bed. But then she stopped cold in her tracks, recognizing the state I was in. Once again I tried to call out to her, begging her to wake me up, but my mouth offered no sound. She tapped me once on the head and I urged her on in my mind to continue, hoping it would free me from this awful state, but she didn’t try to wake me again. Instead she began to pray, she said the Hebrew Shema, the only prayer she knew by heart, and I could sense her voice shaking with fear. At first I thought she was praying for me to awaken, but then a more morbid thought crossed my mind. What if I wasn’t going to wake this time… what if she was praying because I had already gone?
I woke up shortly after, alone in my own bed back at college.